Curtiss V8


Date Location Driver Driver Country Vehicle Power Speed over
1 Km
Speed over
1 Mile
1903 Yonkers, U.S. Glenn Curtiss USA Curtiss IC   64 over the mile, first (unofficial) World Speed Record, Hercules V-twin
January 24, 1907 Ormond Beach, Florida Glenn Curtiss USA Curtiss V8 40hp (30kW) motorcycle IC   136.27 mph (219.31 km/h) Unofficial record stood over 20 years

Built in 1906 as a test bed for a 40-horsepower, air-cooled V8 Curtiss aircraft engine for an aeronautical customer, this a shaft-drive motorcycle set an unofficial world land speed record of 137 miles per hour at Ormond Beach, FL, on January 24, 1907.

The original motorcycle was donated to the Smithsonian Inst. in Washington, D.C. A replica is in the Glenn H. Curtis Museum in Hamondsport, NY.

The Glenn H. Curtiss Museum is a museum of local history with a focus on Glenn Curtiss. Located in Hammondsport, New York, the museum boasts a large collection of Curtiss' airplanes, motorcycles and many other items pertaining to the local Finger Lakes area such as boats and wine culture. From 1962 to 1994, it was located in the Hammondsport Union Free School.

The museum contains about 12 aircraft, including AEA June Bug, AEA Silver Dart, Curtiss Model D, Curtiss Model E, JN-4D Jenny, Curtiss Oriole, Curtiss Robin, three Mercury Aircraft, Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, and Curtiss-Wright Junior.


Photo by Eric Long, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

The replica on display at the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum. Hammondsport, New York State USA
On display at the National Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC. Photo: Chad Cullen 06/26/2009